A proposal for future Uniformz

Submitted by JeepinBen on January 4th, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I’ve been a very vocal opponent of all the Uniformz that we’ve seen the football team break out over the years, and since we’ve seen some hockey successes (and failures) and there’s now talk about basketball “special” unis, and well… I don’t have a lawn, but I do have a suggestion.

Many have noted that we’ve got history and tradition that very few schools can match. With the demand for more revenue from the AD (for new… everythings) some of us have accepted “alternate” jerseys as inevitable. I think that we can have alternate jerseys and they CAN be successful and they CAN look good. Remember, it’s not about being new, fresh, etc. it’s about selling more jerseys. Best way to do that without looking like clowns? History.


Home Blues are untouchable. The UTL jerseys sold well, and looked good on the players, but frankly the ones for sale to the public look awful. Sleeves are too long/too many stripes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

HOWEVA, I’d be fine with Adidas tweaking the road jersey just about annually, it's changed a bunch over the years. I didn’t mind the look of last year’s Sugar Bowl jersey, but I didn’t like that it was our 6thlook in the same year.

ALSO, we should have some historical, REAL, throwback alternates that can be in the rotation for road/bowl games. DB wants to sell other jerseys? Offer these bad boys and wear them:

Bam. Problem solved. There are white alternates for our next 3 years. They even look like Michigan Jerseys! If Brandon thinks he can sell jerseys because we wore them when we were team “coconut shrimp”, he better believe that we can sell the jerseys we wore when we won the ’97 MNC.


This came up in the BBall Uniformz thread http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/basketball-uniformsz-watch-sunday-against-i…, but  we’ve worn some good ones in the past. The Fab 5 shorts. The ’89 large block M Michigan blues, etc. Bam, we’ve got 5 basketball jerseys to sell.

 - why aren't these in the rotation and for sale?


We’ve tried enough combos here that we should know what works. Try a new one occasionally (the Big Chill ones that didn’t have giant Arbys logos looked OK) but remember what you’ve got to draw from. I for one have ALWAYS wanted a “tournament” jersey with the script Michigan.

If the AD wants to sell jerseys, why aren’t they selling those!?!?!

Block Ms in every color worked, we’ve got the Rangers style Maize, plus the Red Era arc Michigan.

We’ve got good options to choose from in all 3 major sports that we've worn in the past. Change up a jersey a sport (bball change the blues one year, hockey try a new Maize, etc.) to see if we hit a new combo that works, but enough of the special edition one-offs that look like nothing we've ever worn. Let’s use some of these good looking old jerseys as alternates. I'd bet the AD will sell a few too.



January 4th, 2013 at 10:04 AM ^

I woud love to know what folks think about the all white away jersey?  I didn't like how they were implemented at MSU a couple years ago, but I don't mind the concept.

M Fanfare

January 4th, 2013 at 10:44 PM ^

I'm not in favor. It just doesn't work with the (mostly) dark helmet. The best football uniforms have either matching color pants and helmets with a contrasting jersey, or matching helmet and jersey with contrasting pants. Our home uniforms work both ways since the helmets appear the same color as the pants from the front and (mostly) the same color as the jersey from the sides, and the blue-white-maize combination on the road looks fine. White pants work on the road for teams that have white helmets, such as Texas and Wisconsin. But Oklahoma's red helmet and red jersey look good at home, but on the road, the red helmet looks out of place with the white jersey and white pants.

I've given this way too much thought...


January 26th, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

I agree Michigan home jerseys should not be messed with! and LOVE the Maize pants!! BUT just ONE TIME have NAVY PANTS MATCHING THE HOME JERSEY!  Do you have any Idea how sweet Michigan Hockey looks in the road blues. or for you that cant skate Michigan Blues in Basketball. Think how the dark blues just brings out the Winged helmet even more than ever in Hockey and it will bring out the Block M on the pants as well in football along with the worlds greatest helmet!!!! Just think about it ...For a 58 year old season ticket holder that used to ride my bike to the big house and chain it to the fence and get an end zone seat for 3 bucks on game day. I think I might have an Idea. Just once all navy pants. it could even be a road game. man would that be sweet. I would buy a photo of a swarming Michigan Defense piling up on the opposing team in those unies and blow it up to put on my wall!!!! Man they would look MEAN!


January 4th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

I think the A-Train jersey was an improvement, with the nice block M on the sleeve.  I've been wishing we would go back to those for a while.  

Edit: As Chris Perry models - 

Beautiful block M on sleeve, simple blue numbers with outline, blue collar, and no stupid maize piping going every which way on random parts of the jersey.  


January 4th, 2013 at 10:29 AM ^

...approach. Recognizes that Michigan's road jerseys have actually changed significantly over the years and capitalizes on that fact.

Nod to the '97 national champions. Nod to the '88 and '92 Big Ten/Rose Bowl champions. In fact, Men's Basketball did this in the (I believe) 2010-11 season when they wore the '89 naitonal championship unis for a home game.

JB has definitely hit the sweet spot with this proposal.

turd ferguson

January 4th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

I agree with MGoShoe that this is the right idea.

My view on this stuff is that the helmet and the home football uniform should be essentially untouchable.  Even with the happy ending of UTL, I find myself wishing that we were in our classic uniforms when I see highlights or photos of that game.

Beyond that, I don't mind some experimentation (road football uniforms, basketball & hockey uniforms) as long as it's classy and not overdone. 

One issue that I'm unsure of is whether Adidas can or would bring back old Nike uniforms.  Does anyone know about this?


January 4th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

Completely agree - stop coming up with old designs. Go back to the true throw-backs. The pro teams do this all the time. I would love for my kids to have the 97 jerseys.


January 4th, 2013 at 10:54 AM ^

Amen- especially on the road football uniforms.  I actually write an annual letter to the athletic director (then Martin now Brandon) urging us to go back to the road uniforms being worn by A-train.  No piping, block M on shoulders. 


January 4th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

Before the piping, how much did the away (football) jerseys really change that dramatically over the years?  The block M on the shoulders added around 1993ish and the players rolling their sleeves up so the stripes are no longer visible?  I'm not seeing this constant change people keep talking about.

Your orginal point, though, is nice and I'd love to have true throwback jerseys but Dave Brandon doesn't swing that way.  He only approves of jerseys that no Michigan team has ever worn.  And he's got a weird obsession with the shoulders always having some form of ugly.  Then he says that all kids love them then covers his ears and says, "Lalalalalalalala, I can't hear you."

No chance he'd ever go for what Tyrone Wheatley is wearing...


January 4th, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

The away uniforms really didn't start to change a lot until 2005. That was the year for god knows what they decided to get rid of the ones with the block m's on the shoulder and they got even more simple. Then in 2008 adidas added the awful looking stripes on the side no one liked. Then they dicked with them a little bit every year after.


User -not THAT user

January 4th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

is the best uniform in the history of M Hockey.  Period.

I actually liked the Sugar Bowl uniforms(z), minus the copious bowl logo, manufacturer, and "M" badging.  Considering what has been done to sleeves on football jerseys since Mike Webster and Jon Kolb started flashing their GUNZZ with the old Steelers, any stripes pretty much have to be the over-the-shoulder version that the NFL Colts wear. 

Or you could skip them altogether and roll up in what amounts to a road version of the home jersey, white, no stripes, BLUE NUMBERS with a maize border.  No superfluous block "M's" on the shoulder (Notre Dame does that w/ the interlocking "ND"...looks good on them, Michigan doesn't need it) or the chest.  Close to what the mid-'70's team wore, and maybe change up the color of the pants to white for a "throwback" effect (MAYBE blue for a BCS-level bowl game if you must).

The "Northwestern stripes" they used on the late-70's-mid-'90's jerseys are cool, but impractical based again on the sleeves of the modern jersey cuts.  Nike may have that design patented, FWIW...not that going back to Nike is a bad idea at this point.  

M Fanfare

January 4th, 2013 at 9:43 PM ^

Exactly. Use alternate uniforms to honor teams of the past by trying to replicate their uniforms. None of that feaux-back crap we saw on the football team in 2011, but actual throwback uniforms. I know a lot of people don't like the Big Chill sweater that the hockey team wears, but it's very close to what the Michigan hockey team wore in the mid and late 1940s. The GLI uniforms this year were closely based on what the hockey team wore in the mid to late 1970s. The current white and blue uniforms they have approximate what the hockey team wore when Red was a player in the late '50s and early '60s (though they ruined them with that block M at the start of Michigan). There's a way to do alternate uniforms without shitting all over the tradition of our programs. And it's not like it would be a lost marketing opportunity. M Den ran out of the Tom Harmon jerseys in a day, and they only have a few sizes left of the Kramer jersey. The Big Chill jersey sold out and they had to re-order them to sell more. People like the old style jerseys when they are done right. The Alabama and Outback jerseys will still be on the clearence rack at M Den at this time next year.


January 4th, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

seems sort of quaintly ridiculous now. Just imagine the shitstorm that would have erupted if RR had tried to introduce the clowniformz and matte helmet after a 3-9 season.


January 6th, 2013 at 11:56 AM ^

True enough.

I wonder if part of Brandon's strategy is to offer a complete separation from that era using uniform shock therapy ... that is, 8 uniform changes for 2011, 4 for 2012, then settle into a style associated with Hoke going forward?

Or it could just be Brandon being marketing-guy-Brandon ... stir the pot, see what creates buzz and what doesn't, and make whatever dollars along the way he can.


January 7th, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

I actually exchanged e-mails w/DB regarding old road football uniforms, and in particular, bringing back the "Harbaugh/Lytle" road jersey.  I dissed the "apron-spring" pinstriping we have right now; just not a real Michigan look to it (more West Virginia).  Either I wasn't clear or DB misunderstood.  He said in no uncertain terms that Michigan would never wear uniforms it wore "25-30 years ago" because of technology; safety; etc.  I replied that I didn't expect Adidas (or whoever down the road) literally make the "same" uniform, but rather, that while incorporating changes in materials, etc., the uniform "looks" the same (it doesn't matter that both are Nike schools).  As I pointed out, USC and Alabama to name a few wear the "same" jerseys they wore decades ago.  I assume however that the materials and such are modern-age.


February 13th, 2013 at 5:04 PM ^

Navy pants with the Maize block M located same size and location with our navy jerseys wow we would look sweet!!!! kinda like M hockey on the road!!! brings out the helmets and the block M on the pants look mean!